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How to Raise Chickens in an Urban Environment

Updated on January 08, 2015

The Movement Is Growing

Funny how great ideas never really die. They may fade away for a few years, but they always seem to return, mainly because, well, they were great ideas. We’ve never seen the return of the Pet Rock, but we are seeing chickens make a comeback, and this writer says HALLEJUAH, BROTHER!

My grandparents had a farm in Charles City, Iowa, prior to the Great Depression. Their farm of 200 acres was mostly gone by 1939. By the time I first visited them, in 1953, they had their original farmhouse and five acres. To me, a child of five, their “spread” seemed enormous. To them, older, wiser, and disillusioned, their “spread” was a painful reminder of better days.

My grandfather sat me on his knee one day and talked to me of the old days of farming, the long hours, the endless problems, and his love for the land. He talked about the cattle and the pigs, the turkeys and the goats, and then he pointed to ten chickens scratching a few feet from us.

“That’s all that remains, Billy, of the farm. Ten chickens. As long as I’m able to work this property, I’ll have chickens, because to me, chickens represent a way of life I’ll never see again.”

“Why,” I asked him, ”do you like chickens so much?”

He laughed his booming laugh. “Because they don’t require me to do any work, Billy. I toss them some food every now and then, and each morning I’m rewarded with fresh eggs. They are the perfect farm animal, and I’ll be damned if I can understand why more people in the city don’t own them.”

Say hello to Minerva
Say hello to Minerva | Source

Sixty Years Later

So here I am, little Billy all grown up, and I’ll be damned if I can understand why more people in the city don’t own chickens.

If there are no restrictions in your city, then what are you waiting for?

And if there are restrictions in your community, then why aren’t you changing those restrictions?

The movement is growing. You might just as well become a part of it.

Today is your lucky day and how cool is that?

Today I’m going to give you a primer on raising chickens in the city, and you get to learn from my considerable mistakes. If it could be done wrong then I’ve done it, but I only made the mistakes once and then learned from them. Now you don’t even have to make those same mistakes once.

Don’t try to thank me. I embarrass easily.

Shall we begin?

Check Your City Ordinance

You just might be surprised! Many cities across the United States now allow chickens within their boundaries. Most cities allow between three and five hens per yard. Rarely are roosters allowed because, well, roosters are annoyingly loud.

But never fear, you get eggs without having roosters. You just don’t get fertilized eggs, but if you aren’t planning on raising a large flock, you don’t need fertilized eggs anyway.

So check with your city planners and find out what your city allows. If you live where chickens are not allowed, it most likely is because nobody has ever started the political process to get them allowed. Why not you?

Constructing the coop out of pallets and plywood
Constructing the coop out of pallets and plywood | Source
Nesting boxes inside the coop
Nesting boxes inside the coop | Source
Almost done building
Almost done building | Source
All done
All done | Source

Chickens Need Predator-proof Shelter

No clowning around on this point. Chickens are basically helpless when it comes to dogs, raccoons, weasels, possums, rats, and even large cats. Chickens need protection. Their coop needs to be safe from invasion, as does their chicken run. If you choose not to have a run, and allow your chickens to roam freely around your yard, don’t worry too much about predators during the day. An occasional hawk might soar above them, but chickens are amazingly good at knowing when birds of prey are nearby, and they will head for cover when they hear a hawk cry out from above. Just make sure dogs can’t get into your yard. As dusk approaches, your chickens will head back to the safety of their coop, where you can lock them in for the night.

There are hundreds of building plans for constructing a chicken coop, and there are hundreds of completed coops for sale if you want to go that route. You can also do what we did and simply construct a simple coop out of wooden pallets and a couple sheets of plywood. Our entire coop, which houses six hens, cost us $44 to make, or the cost of two sheets of plywood. We must have done a good job because we haven’t lost one of our six chickens to predators over the first two years.

How Often Do Chickens Lay Eggs?

I can only give you an average figure based on my experience, and I can also tell you that every chicken is a bit different when it comes to a laying schedule.

On average, a hen will lay five or six eggs during a seven-day week. That’s during the spring, summer, and early fall. During the winter all bets are off. Our first year, our hens laid the entire year and did not take the winter months off. The second winter, they took two months off and then started in again. I’ve spoken to friends in the Midwest who say their hens don’t lay from October to March.

As your hens get older they will lay fewer eggs. Their greatest productivity happens in the first two years, and then their output diminishes. I know of chickens that will lay when they are seven and eight years old, but again, on average, after about four years they are better as fryers than egg-layers.

Bev with some of the flock
Bev with some of the flock | Source

What Do They Eat?

Chicken feed, of course, which can be found at many pet stores and farm feed stores, but chickens will also scratch for bugs constantly, and they also happen to love bread. In fact, you might be surprised at the things your chickens will enjoy eating. We turn ours loose in the vegetable garden when the growing season is over, and they love eating the leaves on the dormant plants. They will even eat slugs if you split the slug open first.

Give them a worm and they will love you forever. I go out in the yard every week and dig up a section with my trusty shovel. New worms are discovered and the chickens once again declare their love for me.

Fresh water is also non-negotiable. If it gets cold in the winter then you need to make sure their water supply doesn’t freeze.

Two very happy critters looking for food
Two very happy critters looking for food | Source

And Speaking of Cold Weather

Believe it or not, chickens are very hardy. They are not fond of wind and rain but they will survive it. Snow is a challenge for them but again, they can survive it. Cold is their greatest enemy other than predators, but a simple heat lamp in their coop will get them through the winter. Once the temperature dips into the twenties or below, the heat lamp needs to be turned on so your critters have a warm place to run to.

And That’s All You Need to Know to Get Started

I’ve written articles on how to construct a chicken coop, so I won’t go into that here. I’m not going to bother you with the different breeds you can choose from. Do a little research and find out which breed will work best for you. If you plan on eating your chickens when their laying days are over, then go for productivity and size. If you just want eggs, then lean towards the best egg-producers.

If you learn only one lesson from this article, make it this: chickens need to be protected from predators. Do that and chances are excellent that you will be successful.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting hub with great lessons.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I would love to have some chickens, but they are prey to many creatures here in the wilderness country. Well, you get what I am saying. I loved reading about how you are doing it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Colorofulone, living in the wilderness does make it harder to protect them. No doubt about that. Oddly, I met people in Alaska who raised chickens, so I guess it is possible....but I do understand.

      Thank you and have a great Thursday.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      Funny you should post this, Bill. I am right in the middle of a blog post about housing chickens in a suburban backyard! Anyway, this is really good advice. I went out this morning to see how my girls fared following another night of subzero temperatures. They seemed fine. I even coaxed them out of the coop with some mealworms. My concern in weather like this is that they aren't getting enough water. I have a heated base for my waterer that sits right outside the coop, but on days like this they barely leave coop so I get worried they aren't drinking enough.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, from what I understand, that's a valid concern. I'm glad they seem to be doing okay...I assume there is no way to put that heated base inside the coop....but hey, if they are thirty enough, they'll go out where the water is. Animals really are survivors.

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

      Bill, as you know I share your love of chickens and fresh eggs. My only mistake was giving names to my five hens. I love fried chicken but it would be very difficult for me to see little "Iggy" on a platter on the dinner table.

      I doubt this will ever happen unless it becomes impossible to buy chicken at the supermarket. After having my fresh eggs for over a year now I just don't care for the store-bought eggs anymore.

      Keep spreading the word my friend. Chickens are fun and not labor intensive.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, thank you for always sharing your expertise on this and seriously if I ever decide to raise chickens, you know I will be calling on you for advice! Thanks and have a great Thursday :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I doubt we'll ever kill one of our six. Now, if I had acreage, and I had 100 of them like I want, then I probably could kill them, mainly because I couldn't remember 100 names. LOL Good to see you my friend. Have a superb Thursday in rural Arizona. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, for some reason, I have a hard time seeing you and the girls raising chickens. I may be wrong, but I just can't conjure that image in my head. :) Having said that, thank you for your loyal friendship. You are always here and I appreciate that very much.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      Bill, there isn't room inside the coop. Plus, everything I read says not to put water in the coop because you want to keep it as dry as possible in there. Although in the summer when it's really hot, I do put a small hanging waterer inside just so they have access to water in the morning before I let them out (they tend to wake up much earlier than I do). I can't use the hanging waterer this time of year because the water simply would freeze.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I can see the logic to that. I think you're doing everything you can, and I'm pretty sure the chickens are smart enough to go outside for a drink. Thanks for sharing. We don't have a "lack of water" or ice problem in this area. :)

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I didn't know chickens only lay eggs for about four years. I think I'd have to just keep them as pets after that. There's no way I'd be able to eat them. That would be like eating one of my cats.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      On average, Sha. I know some who still laid after seven years, but that's abnormal. If I had 100 of them, I could probably slaughter them, but with six pets, it ain't happening. :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Our main problem was integrating them into the family after an unfortunate accident with one of the dogs. After a few weeks and a few strong words everyone gets along. I love to see our pair scatting around in the garden. We don't see many eggs in this winters weather though. Roll on Spring!

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I'm fascinated by the thought of having a few chickens (especially now that I am retired), but then reality whacks me in the noggin. Just too many predators--in addition to stray cats, hawks, raccoons, and possums, we have eagles, fox, coyotes and even the occasional black bear. (Maybe if I can talk Mr. Carb Diva into getting rid of his Miata we could keep them in the garage.)

      But seriously, this is a great hub for anyone who is thinking about raising chickens. Very straightforward and informative. Thanks for sharing.

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      manatita44 2 years ago

      You're very knowledgeable, Bill. My grandfather had a coop and we grew chickens. That was a few moons ago. I do not remember anything. Keep it going, Bro.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I sure wish I had tried chickens way before I did! I looked at other people with them and they just wondered to the side of the road and into the woods (the chickens that is) and I thought that was so bad. Stupid me huh? I am sooo glad I decided to just do it! I get to live that dream before I go and it was there to be had all this time. ^+

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, ours are just starting to lay again, so I guess more eggs will be seen from now on...at least I hope that's true. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, black bear? Where the heck do you live? LOL I know, I know...there are all sorts of critters who love the taste of chicken. In the case of coyotes and bear, it is much harder and much more expensive to protect the chickens.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Manatita! Knowledge comes from experience and many years on this planet. Thankfully I learned a few things along the way.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, people who have never raised them have a hard time understanding why people enjoy it so much. I know we were that way...and then we got them and it was like "what the heck took us so long?" LOL Thank you my friend.

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 2 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      Interesting article, in my city there are a lot of people who are raising chickens at their houses.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      We have more and more chickens in Alameda--it is a movement that is growing!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      i used t raise chicken in my small backyard, we raised some to eat and some to lay eggs. It was not a lot of chicken but they helped out when we lacked the resources to buy eggs or meat. Good hub, backyard farming should be practiced by all.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Raising chicks is very satisfying Bill, unfortunately living in the country most of ours don't make it to adulthood. There are quite a few predators, like pythons and goannas. Our poultry stock has dwindled to two hens, one rooster and two guinea fowl. Some have died from old age, as we can't bring ourselves to kill them for food. They have worked so hard supplying us with eggs. So now we have to restock. Thanks for writing this.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Romanian, I think it is much more common in Europe. We always learn things a bit more slowly here in the States. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love hearing that, Audrey. Thanks for sharing. It gives me hope that Americans are waking up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Clive, I think we are seeing a great increase in backyard farming as more and more people wake up to the economic realities of the times. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, John, I can say without hesitation that we don't have to worry about pythons and goannas here. :) I'm sorry to hear that your flock has dwindled. I hope you are able to replenish and your luck turns for the good.

    • Samantha Sinclair profile image

      Samantha Sinclair 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you! Pinned for reference...

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Love the quote from your grandfather... fond memories of chickens on the farm!

      My "The Kings of Oak Springs" had chickens as well, in 1876-7... think I got it mostly right... ;-)

      Thanks, again, for all you do... whatever the subject! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Samantha. Thank you!

    • Christy Kirwan profile image

      Christy Kirwan 2 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm a big fan of living as sustainably and self-sufficiently as possible, and it sounds like chickens are a step in the right direction. I wish I had the space to try raising 1 or 2 myself!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, the pleasure is all mine. Thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, thanks for stopping by. I can't imagine anyone in San Francisco having the room for chickens, or the zoning allowing it, but I might be wrong.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I rew up with chickens running everywhere. My mother loved raising chickens. She kept the chicks on a screened in porch, then they ran free when they got bigger. I bet she lost some to predators. I was just a kid and didn't pay any attention. I remember how good they tasted, nothing like today. I love that pic. of Bev.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Nice work my friend Bill and I do miss those good old days when I was a kid as we gathered eggs and enjoyed farm living. whonu

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, there is no comparison between store-bought chicken and farm-raised...the same with eggs. I'll never eat another egg from the store....thanks for sharing your memories.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks whonu. I didn't have that as a kid but I do now....I think I'm regressing. LOL

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      For fiction about raising chickens, read "The Egg" in the book THE TRIUMPH OF THE EGG by Sherwood Anderson, now online in pdf.

      FYI, page 49 of the 1-2015 issue of Mother Earth News magazine says they are looking for blog writers.

      I have happy memories of feeding my grandmother's chickens in the early 1950s in the MN north woods, before she switched to raising rabbits.

      Are there guardian animals appropriate for guarding chickens from predators?

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      It is funny how sometimes things come full circle, and for the better!

      I know your grandpa would be proud of you raising your chickens in the city.

      You make a great case to raise chicken in urban areas!

      Blessings and peace, dear Bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the info, Brian. I'll check those two out. As for guard animals, some dogs are great. We have a golden lab who does fine around the chickens and keeps all predators at bay during the day. The real problem for us is nighttime....but we're working on it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. I don't know about other people, but I just love raising chickens. I need more room!!!!!!!

      Blessings this fine day, to you and yours

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      hey Billy.. nice change of pace.. I wont raise chicken nor do I have the desire to do so, but out of great respect for you I read your hub.. and found it fascinating... thanks for the share

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a useful hub for anyone who wants to raise chickens, Bill. Thank you for sharing your experience. As I've said before, I'm very glad that you are unlikely to kill your chickens once they no longer lay many eggs!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting article. But Lol!!! Bill, we are purely veg and don't eat eggs. But it is very useful for all those who want to keep chickens and you have given full knowledge to them about raising chickens and protecting them from preys.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, you're a loyal follower for sure. Thank you my friend, and Happy Weekend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I just can't do it. It would be like killing a pet cat for a meal, and I've never been hungry enough to do that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M....passing on knowledge that we have learned over the years is what writers do, in one fashion or another.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Our chickens are doing great Bill! We enjoy their eggs all the time. I can't wait to get more chicks this spring. New news: Erika and I are thinking about starting pig farming on our acre. Sounds like fun, right! Trust me there will be hubs. Jamie

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, I've raised pigs before, and I actually love them. I won't call them the perfect pet, but I did enjoy them when I had the. I can hardly wait to hear about your adventures. Just make sure you wear boots when you feed them. They have a tendency to try to eat your foot. LOL No lie!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      in malaysia, terrace houses and flats, you can't keep chickens, the health inspectors will check. Unless you live in countryside

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I do love this idea. When we move into a place that has the space, a chicken coop will be the first thing I put up. It will probably even go in before a garden. This article got me all excited about it. And today we're headed to a farm to see chickens and all kinds of animals. I am very excited. :) I'll compare their setup to your suggestions.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting, peachpurple, about Malaysia. I would have never guessed that. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cristen, I am a big fan of all animals. I never thought I would be a chicken advocate, tell you the truth. They always seemed messy growing up, but after having three dogs, chickens are definitely not messy. :) Have fun on the farm.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Bill, I had a great time on the farm! That's a good point about dogs vs. chicken mess. I hadn't thought about it. At least chicken manure can be composted and repurposed.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True, Cristen. The best manure to use? Rabbits....straight from their bodies to the garden, where is time releases......great stuff, and it's not smelly. :)

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      A great how-to hub! We used to love our chickens in France; they were so comical. They went wild for porridge, all cold and solid. Ugh! They too liked bread and would turn up their noses, sorry - beaks, at common or garden grass and seed, unless of course there was no choice.

      You really get to see where the expression 'pecking order' comes from too, when you've got a few of these weird, prehistoric creatures.

      Glad I read this light-hearted hub this evening. Thanks, bill.

      Ann :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, they are comical, aren't they? Our love oatmeal, hot or cold. We have finally figured out their likes and dislikes after two years....worms, though, remain their favorite dish by far.

      Have a wonderful week my friend, and thank you.

      bill

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have a fondness for chicken. They are such quirky creatures. And it's this fondness for the critters that I don't have them. I have neighbours on either side who own cats that are free roaming. When my daughter moved back home she brought three cats with her. If the cold doesn't get the chickens, then the stress of being surrounded by so many felines will probably make their feathers fall out. Then, I guess, the cold would get them.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you are right not to own them if there are free-roaming cats. Cats must be kept in yards here and I'm so glad for it. Occasionally a stray will get out, but we have dogs for protection in that case.

      Have a superb Monday my friend, and thank you.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      I hope you and your chickens are doing well, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We are, vkwok, and we are preparing for six more next month. Thank you!

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Bill you amaze me every day when I see how diverse your talents. I could never tackle such a feat as my garden is sometimes overwhelming.

      Take care.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, it helps to have a partner like Bev who does more than her own share. I wouldn't do all this if I were alone. :) Thank you!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 2 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I'm thinking about getting some chickens and appreciated all of the practical tips.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PNW, thanks for stopping by. If you have any questions feel free to ask them.

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's pretty darn easy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very, very easy, Deb. They pretty much take care of themselves, which is more than I can say about some relatives of mine. :)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      I'm a chicken lover, my parents had many hens years ago and we sold eggs, it was my job to clean the eggs before they went to the market.

      I must have cleaned more than a million eggs in the 1950s, no wonder I don't eat many now.

      We used to raise our own chickens, which were brought as 1 day old, I have many memories. Thanks enjoyed your article.

    • MD Muniruzzaman profile image

      MD Muniruzzaman 2 years ago from Rajshahi, Bangladesh

      Wonderful article Bill. I have raised chickens in my childhood and I cannot forget those cute faces. But sadly my hometown has changed a lot recently and no one is eager to raise chickens these days. I liked the way you described raising chicken in rough areas.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      Congratulations on your well deserved HOTD - it could not have gone to a nicer person. Those chickens are going to be well pleased too:)

      Have a wonderful week-end Billy

      Sally

    • drpennypincher profile image

      Dr Penny Pincher 2 years ago from Iowa, USA

      We had lots of fun with chickens out on the farm. We got a "straight run" of 24 hens as chicks from a hatchery. As time went by, we noticed one of the chicks was growing much faster than all of the others. Then, that one started making funny noises. A neighbor let us know what now seems obvious: we got a rooster!

      If you want fresh eggs to eat, a few hens should be all you need. With 24, we had to sell eggs and give them away. Congrats on HOTD!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Well, it's about time. Please tell me this is not your first HOD. Every year we honor our favorite hubbers, but rarely see their hubs as the HOD. I've never understood that. You have many other hubs deserving of this honor as well. Congrats.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Bill,

      Congratulations on your second Hub of the Day!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      Finally Mr. Grow everything man---Congrats. You were already a winner in my book.

      One Easter my Grandfather Knight bought chicks that were colored like Easter eggs. I don't know how they did it---food coloring I suppose. However, my favorite little rooster still had the color on the tips of his feathers when he was grown. I made pets out of everything that had a heart.

      Thanks for all the goodness and joy you have spread throughout HubPages for all the ones who admire and enjoy your work.

      Have a wonderful Sunday with your Sweetheart,

      Bobbi Purvis

      I shared with Twitter and put on my re-pin board on Pinterest.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 2 years ago from Vermont

      I remember the big chicken house/coop at my aunt's farm in NH from my childhood and how I loved to go and fetch eggs and help feed the hens. My neighbors here in VT have a small coop and flock that I can see from my kitchen window. I really would love to have a few of my own, but I travel from time to time so must wait a few years. It's fun to watch the neighbor's chickens scratch for bugs and run in and out of the coop like a small army. Thanks for all the tips!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Had to come back to say congrats on your HOTD Bill! Cluck Cluck! :-)

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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Congrats on HOTD!! Isn't this the second one?? I had four hens for a while, and really enjoyed getting an egg a day from each one. Chickens are very intelligent (a lot of people don't know that).

      Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Elsie, any friend of chickens is a friend of mine. The only mystery to me is why more people don't raise them. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you MD....I'm sorry to hear that your area is not conducive to raising chickens. Hopefully things will change in your area soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sally. That's very sweet of you. The chickens and I will be celebrating today with worms. :)

      Happy Weekend to you, my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, drpennypincher....as soon as we get some acreage we will have dozens of these chickens, and then we'll sell our eggs too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kathleen. Actually this is my second...I got the other one about six months ago. 2 out of 925 is a good percentage, right? LOL I appreciate the kind words, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Daisy. It just goes to show that if you write enough articles you are bound to get lucky eventually. :)

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      OMG! Is this your first Hub of the Day Award? If so, congrats... even though you should have gotten one hundreds of hubs ago.

      Unfortunately, with my one golden who has a high hunt instinct, it would be hard to predator-proof my yard. :)

      Anyway, have a wonderful weekend!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Wow, congratulations on Hub of the Day, Bill.

      Your chickens are famous!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, thank you for sharing and for the kind words. I love your description...a pet of everything that had a heart. Yes indeed. I could never be a full-scale farmer because that would require killing my pets...Impractical for sure, but I know you understand.

      Happy Sunday my friend. Bev is with a girlfriend at the ocean having a nice weekend, so it's just me and the animals.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Lee, and thank you. I love Vermont....lived there for two years and I have fond memories of that beautiful state. Anyway, I hope one day you can raise chickens...they do run around like a small army. That's the perfect description.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Glimmer. I appreciate it my friend, and cluck cluck to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, it is the second HOTD....not bad for 925 hubs, eh? LOL Chickens are intelligent, extremely so for such small brains.

      Anyway, thank you and Happy Sunday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi. It's actually #2. Never has anyone worked so hard for two awards. LOL I think, with your golden one, that chickens might not be the best idea, but I appreciate you stopping by. Happy Sunday to you as we bask in 60 degrees.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you colorfulone. I'll tell the chickens to groom themselves extra pretty today.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This is really encouraging for those of us who have the space and desire to raise chickens. Your important words about warmth during the winter is what has kept me from doing this so far. Perhaps there's a way to overcome the challenge of keeping the birds warm during the cold Texas winter. Anyway, great article and many congratulations on winning the hub of the day award for this.

    • tzwrites profile image

      tzwrites 2 years ago

      Great hub. I also have my own chickens and it's very rewarding. I never have to go buy eggs and it's great!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, ours have survived some pretty cold temps. As long as they have that heat lamp they will be fine. Good luck. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Thank you for the visit.

    • profile image

      GypsyWillow 2 years ago

      We have two beautiful Barred Rocks who are as much garden ornaments as egg producers. Not a bug in sight either! Great hub. Congratulations !

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is great, tzwrites. I hope more and more people will begin doing this. Thanks for stopping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on HOTD!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, I love that description...garden ornaments. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Flourish!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day. I love your chicken hubs and the photos.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      First, congrats on HOTD! Well deserved, as are many more of your 900 plus articles!

      I live in a college town where chickens are allowed! are they really that easy to care for? I always feared for the winter, but I guess with a coop, food, checking the water and temperature out there, I could do it. Would you recommend one? or would two be better so they have company? :-) I may do this! I've talked to my dad about it before; he gave me some tips, too!

      Oh--and I'm pinning this on my newly created Pinterest board on "farming." :-)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Well this is a nice surprise, when I read this hub last night I never realised that today it would be HOTD, congratulations, it is a winner I enjoyed it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jeannie. I'm just trying to encourage more people to raise these entertaining birds and get some great eggs as a bonus.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vicki and yes, I would recommend you doing it and most definitely, two is better than one. A single chicken will get lonely, as odd as that may sound. :) No worries about winter...only in real cold weather do they need a heat lamp.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Elsie. It was a shock to me. :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks for answering my question, Bill! That helps. I don't think it sounds odd at all that even a chicken needs a buddy. :-)

    • GiftsByDiana profile image

      Diana Burrell-Shipton 2 years ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA

      My Grandma always had them, Rhode Island Reds were her favorite !

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Congrats on HOTD! Long live the chicken, well long enough until it's ready to eat! :)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day. Yay!

      I have chickens here on our farm in Brazil. I do have roosters and yes they are noisy. Not just at daybreak either. 2:30 AM is not uncommon.

      Eggs from free range hens are unbeatable, (lol) and the yolks are almost orange as you know.

      I think if possible everyone, should strive to rear chickens as it puts people in touch with farming. This I feel is a good first step to change our attitudes towards food, large supermarkets, and life in general.

      An excellent hub and once again, I am so pleased for your achievement.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 2 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Very enjoyable read as always. My uncle had chickens and when I got to gather the eggs every morning one summer when my sister and I stayed there. I did enjoy those eggs! Now we have neighbors who have chickens, and at least one rooster - yes, noisy in the warmer weather (quiet now for the winter).

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Congrats On HOTD I read this sometime back but wanted to stop and give you some kudos. Omedeto, my Friend. You done good!!!

      More Angels and blessings are on the way to you this evening ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      If you do it, Vicki, keep me posted, and if you run into any problems, just ask and I'll answer if I can.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      GiftsByDiana, we have one of those. We have quite a mixture of six different one, but the Rhode Island Red is the most consistent layer by far.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Linda! Thank God for chickens or I wouldn't have gotten an HOTD. :)

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      Congrats on the HOTD, Billy! A friend of mine has a major Earth-Mother streak in her DNA, and she has raised bees (they're gone now - but she might get more) and also raised chickens. Her eggs are beautiful - all different pastel colors, and they're so good.

      However, even though she's in an urban area, they have coyotes, and she just lost all of her chickens over a period of a few weeks - I think raccoons got a few, too. That would frustrate me, so much. She's planning to restock her pen soon - and they're trying to figure a way to control the predators.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      The idea of having chickens continues to grow on me. The predators here would be a challenge, but I think it might be worth the work of keeping them protected. Your advice is very helpful. Congratulations on the well-deserved HOTD!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blonde, I'm with you all the way, and nice pun tossed in your comment. :) I do believe that raising chickens puts people in touch with farming, a way of life that needs to be revisited around the world. Let's hope articles like this one help. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jptanabe, roosters are a problem in an urban environment for sure. We also have quail, the the male quail can be noisy as well....so far, not noisy enough to bother our neighbors. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thanks for coming back. I really appreciate it, and I appreciate your friendship more than you may know.

      Blessings my friend, and those angels are loaded down with hugs.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marcy, raccoons got almost all of our quail and it broke my heart. It can be frustrated and emotionally draining. Luckily we haven't lost any chickens in almost two years, so at least we did good on that front. Thank you for the visit, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Susan. Keeping them protected at night isn't that difficult....during the day, if you have daytime predators...that would be the challenge. Good luck to you if you decide to try this.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Congrats, Bill. Sorry for the late kudos.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Congrats on the HOTD, Bill! It's nice to see they are no longer just awarded to newbies!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are never late, Zulma, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Sha, and the same to you.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill....This is terrific and I have to hand it to you & Bev for all the pre-planning, hard work & tenacity in creating your own excellent chicken-raising environment. Considering you do not live in the deeply rural areas, this is quite a feat & certainly well worth it.

      I looked into this several years ago, only to be advised it would not be an option due to the creatures called "coyotes" who have made their homes in the woods surrounding the property.

      You've got yourself quite the "Holland Farm" to be proud of....Very interesting article, bro. The closest I've come to this is that I belong to a Women's Card Club and we call ourselves, "The Soup Chickens!!" LOL..UP+++ tweeted

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Paula, you really venture into the wilderness with the card club of yours. I hope you have a lot of "chicken feed."

      Seriously, we love our critters, and spend a lot of time with them...so they are our hobby, and we don't mind spending money on a hobby that gives us so much.

      Have a great week...good luck with the snowstorm.

      bro

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 2 years ago from Ohio Valley

      This is great help! We have been thinking about raising chickens for a few years now and have just now gotten a way to get electricity to where we would like to house our chickens. I worry about the cold as well and hope that a heat lamp would be safe. We are after egg laying chickens only....as well as those who attack the bugs too! Any suggestions for good egg layers?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhode Island Reds are as dependable as you could ask for, Vandyneg....I would go with them...and I have friends in Iowa who only have one heat lamp in the coop and their chickens do well during the winter. They are a very hardy bird so no worries. Just keep them safe from predators and they will supply you with some great eggs.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Wow, what a great hub on raising chickens. I like your encouragement, for people to get to know if its allowed in their communities, and if not, to work toward changing that. I think this could be an invaluable resource for people, and will bookmark in case I need to find your other hubs too on going to the next step. I am curious if the heat lamps in a coop in the winter months are ever a fire hazard?

      I sure would love to have some chickens like that. I had a friend once that said it was a huge mess, but I wonder if she did it wrong or something. Anyway, a great hub, voted up and all the way across. I plan on sharing and pinning. I loved most your memories with your grandfather, that is awesome and precious. On a completely different note, I went to St. Charles City Iowa one summer with my friend, to visit family. Being from Southern California at the time, it was a wonderful experience. They lived right along a beautiful river there.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you oceansnsunsets....no fire hazard as long as the lamp isn't touching wood. We hang our from a hook on the ceiling and haven't had trouble with it through two winters.

      As for Charles City....it was a beautifully quaint city the last time I saw it, but that's been a few decades now. I'd love to visit it again one day....and I think you're talking about the Cedar River if memory serves me correctly. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Congrats dear Bill on the HOTD!!! Woo hoo ...

      I missed this one just until this day as I never sign out until the weekend, and then I scroll through the chosen HOTDs for the week and saw this one.

      Well done, dear friend.

      (((Hugs))) and blessings your way

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. It's funny that a hub I spent a half hour on is chosen, and those I really try hard on to make meaningful go unnoticed. Sigh!

      Have a superb weekend, my friend, and blessings always

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, maybe we are trying too hard ... I have noticed that the hub has to be not too long, but just the right length. So, I will keep that in mind. Who knows?

      I love your chickens hubs!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Faith, and who knows indeed? I'll try to write another chicken hub for you soon.

    • profile image

      Mary 19 months ago

      My husband and i are newly retired and looking to raise some chicken for eggs and grandkids for 4 H. have lots of questions but the first o

      one i have is do you need a rooster if you don't want baby chicks

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary no, you do not need a rooster for eggs....hens do quite nicely. :) Thanks for reading...I have an urban farming blog you might find helpful too.

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